Feature documentary. In post-production.
An intimate portrait filmed across 10 years of Mary DeBoutez Zellmer Fenoglio, a charismatic and complex septuagenarian born and raised in rural Kansas, USA. Mary runs a curiosity shop out of her front yard, builds giant furniture and dreams of becoming an artist one day.
DIRECTOR: Sam Huntley
GENRE: Documentary / Biography
RT: 90 mins (approx.)
STATUS: Rough cut
We meet Mary DeBoutez Zellmer Fenoglio in 2008. She is a loud, charismatic and complex woman in her sixties, born and raised in rural Kansas, USA. She has dreams: of becoming an artist and one day leaving Kansas.
Living with her husband and surrounded by her heard of cats, Mary owns and runs a vibrant roadside curiosity shop out of her front yard and builds giant eye-catching furniture from reclaimed materials. Business has slumped recently and we observe Mary interacting with the few customers she has left, bemoaning the fact that rising gas prices have decimated her passing trade.
As we spend time with Mary we meet her friends, neighbours and close-knit family. She delves into her past and we start to learn about key events that have impacted her life; the poverty of her upbringing, the death of her baby son, a brief marriage to a domineering husband and the effects that her abusive father had on her and her siblings. But against these odds she remains positive, energetic and hopeful.
We return 10 years later to find Mary struggling to come to terms with what’s happened in her life in the intervening years. Her beloved husband Kenny has died, as well as her brother and sister, and her business has all but ceased to exist.
Just when she’s at her lowest ebb, she’s introduced to Rusty, a local contractor, and the possibility of a new relationship gives her a glimpse of happiness that she thought had gone forever.